Kalina is a Russian, beloved, adored, own, native tree. It can be hard on your soul, you pick and eat a handful of ripe viburnum berries, and you forget about troubles, and again into the furrow, for a shovel, a hoe ...
Kalina can be safely put on a par with birch and mountain ash, both grow in rather swampy areas, both drink a lot of water, but the leader here, of course, is viburnum. No, not because it "drinks" two buckets of water, like a birch, and ripens almost in November, like a mountain ash, but because of the usefulness of its fruits, the alkaloid Viburnine alone is worth something. Since ancient times, people have been stocking up on viburnum, hung neatly by the brushes in the huts and, when they were sick, as if on a pill, they gave the patient. And after all, they helped out, raised even old people to their feet.
But viburnum is not only a doctor, it is a guest of any celebration, any fair, before horses and carts were decorated with viburnum, now there are stalls, and therefore it becomes more cheerful in the soul. After all, it seems to be cold outside, but you look at the viburnum fruit, pick a couple of "peas", roll it on your hand - it warms up, and eat it - it gives you strength, you will stand up to any fair.
Gardeners also love viburnum, because it grows almost throughout the territory of Russia - especially where water comes close to the soil, viburnum drinks this water, and turns it into useful berries. By itself, it almost does not get sick, only occasionally aphids attack it, but it does no harm. The viburnum harvest largely depends on its habitat. If there is enough raw food and enough food, then the clusters will be bulk, heavy, sometimes weigh 300 grams, but if it is dry and there is nothing to eat, then she will simply throw off most of the ovaries, leave her most beloved ones, and raise them as needed, large, with a grain inside, which occupies most of the berry - a continuation of the viburnum genus.
Viburnum is not afraid of severe frosts, recurrent cold weather, thaws, actively blooms, attracting bees and loves care when the gardener no, no, and he will not only visit the berries, but also cut out the old branches, thin out the crown, remove the dry forest.
That's all that viburnum requires to itself, well, and so that the clusters are powerful and the fruits in them are large, the breeders work wonderfully well. So, at the moment, in the State Register of Breeding Achievements of the Russian Federation, there are 14 varieties of this beautiful culture. Of course, the very first varieties of viburnum included in the State Register (and they were actually obtained years before inclusion) did not differ in either increased immunity or large-fruitedness, and it was banal to eat fresh berries, only after a serious frost or freezing in the refrigerator. Modern varieties are distinguished by a more pleasant taste and increased immunity, although it is still better to wait for the first frost, and only then dare to sample the berries.
Viburnum varieties Garnet Bracelet
Of the novelties, first of all, I would like to talk about two varieties, one is already in the State Register, and the other is only "going" there. Let's start with the official one (already approved for use). This is a Garnet Bracelet. The Garnet Bracelet was obtained in 1996, which means it is considered a relatively new variety. A whole galaxy of truly outstanding scientists worked on it. These are Evgeny Petrovich Kuminov (now deceased, Doctor of Science) and Irina Ivanovna Kozlova, Ph.D. a scientist agronomist-breeder who devoted a huge part of his life to the study of various cultures.
So, Pomegranate Bracelet, a variety of the XXI century, how will it please us? Well, firstly, this is of course the highest winter hardiness (for 15 years of observations, your humble servant did not reveal any damage) and drought resistance (he never watered, because we have a priority for more significant crops (nursery in general) and, what is most interesting, it is worth the fruits of the Pomegranate Bracelet variety to lie for only a couple of days in the freezer, how can they be safely eaten fresh.
Of the minor drawbacks, one can only name the ripening dates that fall out of the general schedule, they fall more likely at the end of September, and not in its middle, as in most varieties. On the one hand, this makes it possible to extend the season for the consumption of fresh berries, and on the other hand, it complicates the harvesting process.
We did not say anything about the mass of the fruits. Yes, it is small at the Garnet Bracelet - about a gram, but this is again on poor, "institute" soil, and if you plant a variety on nutritious and moist soil, let it breathe deeply, then the mass of fruits will at least double. In addition, the pomegranate bracelet's shields are not small, they number up to 35 fruits.
By the way, the fruits of the variety are officially recognized for possible fresh consumption, and absolutely for all types of processing.
As for the plant itself, it grows actively: planted in a two-year-old will give the first harvest the next year, branches practically do not scatter in different directions, which will save your area on the site.
The chemical composition of the berries of the Pomegranate Bracelet variety is also impressive, there are over 10% sugars, less than 2.0% acids, a little more than 32 mg% ascorbic acid, all this makes the taste so pleasant, albeit with a noticeable bitterness. Tasters rate the taste at 4.3 points, which is quite normal for viburnum. The average yield of this variety reaches 120 centners per hectare, the variety, according to the test results, is resistant to low temperatures, pests and diseases.
Kalina varieties Toropyzhka
And now let's talk about a new cultivar of viburnum, which is just about to become a part of a large family of viburnum varieties, this is a new, super-early variety, Toropyzhka.
The variety was obtained from free pollination of the also early variety Taiga Ruby, seeds were isolated from the collected berries and sown in the nutrient soil, and then the breeders strictly monitored the seedlings, rejecting diseased, frail, frozen ones. Participated in the creation of the variety Evgeny Petrovich Kuminov, Irina Ivanovna Kozlova and I, Nikolai Khromov (studied this form for 15 years).
As a result, a variety has turned out, the fruits of which ripen already starting from August 20-22 (depending, of course, on the weather - if it's cold, then later, and hot - so early).
The main differences of the future variety are not only in the super-early ripening of its berries, but also in their rather high mass. Even on a hard, not fertilized and not watered garden bed of a scientific institution, where, at best, weeds are weeded only once a year, the weight of each berry in the shield reaches 1.1 g, and on the nutritious and moist soil of a private plot it will definitely increase by at least 50% larger.
The plant itself is not large, medium-sized, grows well even on soils where the groundwater level is only a meter from the surface, where melt or rainwater stagnates for a long time. Due to the fact that the shrub is medium-sized, it can be planted in small-sized areas, where ordinary crops will simply lock up and fall out. One BUT: this variety requires a pollinator variety for maximum yields, but the Taiga Rubies cultivar will come to the rescue, the whole secret is that they bloom at the same time, so they can become dusty.
The taste of the berries of the new variety of viburnum is sour-sweet, although the bitterness is noticeable, and the typical viburnum aroma, which for some reason not everyone likes, is also present. The fruits of the newest variety contain up to 10% sugar, 2.1% acids, slightly more than 62 mg% vitamin C and up to 982 mg% pectin. Tasting scores ranged from 4.0 to 4.4, but on average turned out to be 4.0, which, in my opinion, is a rather underestimated indicator for this variety.
The yield on a sufficiently moist and nutritious soil is about 160 centners per hectare. For 15 years of observing the variety, from school to planting on a hybrid site, it was not affected by pests or diseases, it bloomed beautifully and did not freeze.
By the way, although the fruits of the Toropyzhki variety ripen quite early, they have a very dense skin and can be transported over long distances without losing the quality of the fruit. The main thing in this case is to pick them not completely ripe, but slightly unripe (in mid-August).
Photo by the author